Risk Insights
December 21, 2020

Safety + Security Reading List

Throughout 2020, the year defined by the coronavirus pandemic and protests on social justice issues, we’ve heard and read phrases such as “this was a year like no other,” that had “unprecedented challenges” and brought “historic impacts.” Situations may appear to be unprecedented, but an agile security team that is well-prepared can anticipate and avert threats.

RANE’s Executive Director, Safety + Security, Brian Lynch, has spent decades honing the skills that separate risk from outcomes. And he can help your business do the same.

“Look,” he says, “Too often, popular culture glorifies risk; successful entrepreneurs are painted as risk-takers, movies make heroes of the sports figure or the lawyer who rushes in first or bets everything on a single chance event. But that’s not reality. In reality, success is achieved through careful planning, hard work, commitment, and preparing for eventualities. And that takes constant education, teamwork and practice.”

After two decades with the FBI, Lynch became Head of Global Security at The Vanguard Group, Inc. He developed and implemented the firm’s corporate security and crisis management programs on a global basis. He designed the firm’s programs specifically related to crisis management, workplace safety and active shooter planning/training, threat and breach management, travel security, and intelligence. Through his leadership, his team reduced the firm’s risk exposure. Brian also authored the firm’s threat assessment team, the process by which internal threats were successfully mitigated and addressed.

“It takes hard work by a team to build that kind of program,” Lynch says. “By making plenty of good connections and building relationships. Luckily, RANE helps businesses make those connections and has those relationships. RANE members are able to take advantage of the expertise in our network, so my work makes their work easier. Honestly, to stay at the top of my game, I also do a lot of research. I read about best practices, studying why some teams win, and why others don’t. There’s a formula, and a process to placing the right people in the right position at the right time.”

Lynch says some of his best examples of team success comes from experiences he was a part of as well as those recounted in books, both of which provide inspiration. And because RANE is about sharing best practices to elevate all teams, he’s sharing some of his favorite books, not only related to team success but also on security and risk topics as well.

1.  The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker

“This book is about trusting your gut, but maintaining situational awareness. By that I mean, know ahead of time the kind of situation you’re putting yourself in - whether that’s a trip to the mall, or building a business in China. We may be able to predict violence or confrontation by paying attention to the signals beforehand. As the book states, ‘Contrary to popular myth, human violence almost always has a discernible motive and is preceded by clear warning signs.’ When you get to the part that discusses “rule of opposites,” behavioral predictions can be improved through its application.  Also, please pay attention to the case studies that can inspire your approach to security and avertiting risk.”  

2.  Crisis in Organizations by Dr. Larry Barton

“They say practice makes perfect. I agree. This book helps managers develop a strategy of crisis management, utilizing a team approach.  Dr. Barton comments, ‘although not all crises can be prevented, they certainly can be managed better.’  I had the great fortune of working with and learning from Dr. Barton for over 10 years while Head of Global Security for The Vanguard Group, Inc.  Assessing crisis preparedness is tantamount to a best in class program and recognizing warning signs is key to averting potentially catastrophic events. Dr. Barton is one of the world’s leading experts in crisis management and threat assessment. If you’re looking to build skills and establish best-practices, this book is a must-read”

3.  The Little Book on Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle

“Common sense investing, yes. But more than that, advice on how taking a long and broad view of events can help you succeed in the long run. Understanding how markets work, long-term versus short-term, the value of diversification, etc.  The lesson of investing proffered by Mr. Bogle, wherein one forgets the fads and marketing hype, as well as the quick fixes/gains, certainly has perspective, standing and weight in the security and risk professions.  Those are strategies and concepts any security and risk professional knows are not only needed in abundance, but also the key to success.” 

4.  The Rickover Effect by Thoedore Rockwell

“This book is the story of how one man made a difference, and changed the world.  He ‘took an improbable idea and turned it into a reality.’  He transformed the United States Navy, and was considered the ‘father of the nuclear Navy.’  It’s written by a man who worked alongside Admiral Hyman G. Rickover as he launched the world's first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus. But this book is really about establishing a vision, and overcoming obstacles, both natural and man-made, that prevent you from achieving that goal. It is about setting priorities, being organized, building and leading teams, setting/developing standards, and policies and procedures.  His unprecedented technological achievements overcame both natural and human obstacles and gave new meaning to the concept of industrial quality control.” 

Stay up-to-date on Safety + Security with Brian Lynch here, or on any of our social media platforms: www.twitter.com/ranenetwork  or https://www.linkedin.com/company/rane or listen to his podcast series here: https://worldview.stratfor.com/media/podcasts

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